• Minari

    Minari

    ★★★★

    It's that delicate fading memory of youth we always want to hold onto forever. Very warm, distant, a little discoloured around the edges— can't quite remember what the border looks like, where it begins, where it ends... but nonetheless, it's a part of you.

    Fleeting aspects pinpointed and blared, yet somehow so softly it floats across as a whisper. Like hearing a couple of notes from a song reminiscent of another you can't remember. Spotting a favourite candy you haven't…

  • Notturno

    Notturno

    While I'm not a fan of Gianfranco Rosi's style (and although l think this may be his best work, it doesn't do much to change that matter), I have to praise the shots here. Some of the best cinematography in a documentary I've seen in recent years. I'm just not sold it adds up to anything. Footage is outstanding, but it feels oddly sewn and too puzzled to give the subject the weight it deserves. Can't say this is bad, can't say it's good. It just is. And what it is is tragic.

  • The Mauritanian

    The Mauritanian

    ★★★½

    Rahim's takes in the Guantanamo Bay scenes shot with the secondary aspect ratio bumped this up for me. It's good, sure, but those scenes are fantastic. If the whole narrative had been done in that style— just as intense, claustrophobic, heavy, grimy, and even nauseating— and less run-of-the-mill textbook safe legal material spliced throughout, this could have really been something special. I also think a linear narrative could have benefitted the pace, but I'm flipflopping on the idea.

    When it's…

  • Earwig and the Witch

    Earwig and the Witch

    I went into this hopeful, but left wondering why I bothered. This is spectacularly poor. I'm shocked Studio Ghibli decided to follow through with releasing it under their namesake.

    Even if you somehow ignore the unforgivably ugly animation, which I can only describe as waxy discount television, this... isn't good. It bluntly takes so much from Hayao's work (and I'm talking 4+ films minimum) and pulverizes it to the point I fear he might sue him. There's also... nothing here?…

  • Shiva Baby

    Shiva Baby

    ★★★★

    This happens to all bisexual vegetarian Jews at least once.

  • News of the World

    News of the World

    True Grit and The Good Dinosaur put in a blender and poured on a newspaper—
    only, you forgot the salt.

    Westerns are kinda like poetry at this point. If you can't add anything new, don't.

    It's fine. Y'know?

  • Promising Young Woman

    Promising Young Woman

    You ready for the most useless review ever?

    I'm not sure what to think of this one.

    And I'm hoping others feel the same.

  • Soul

    Soul

    ★★★★½

    Jazzers jazzing, jazzily.


    I was born into a family of jazz musicians— my jazz singer of a grandmother married my jazz drummer of a grandfather, and then they had a jazz family. Drummers, pianists, the occasional trumpeter scraggling around— that’s them. Noodling, improvising, being musical and such— and it feels like it’s what they were meant to do. I’m proud of them, happy for them, always supportive and forever impressed by the talent they have and how they’ve used it.…

  • Wolfwalkers

    Wolfwalkers

    ★★★★½

    Whimsy, magic, wolves—
    squabbling woodcutters and the best damn sheep you've ever seen—
    Caught within the charming spell of loose woodblock-y goodness and folklore galore— every frame, every character, every smidge of overindulged geometry—
    Wolfwalkers is truly enchanting.
    Sweeps you right up like a broom in the scullery and leaves you feeling like you've scarfed a fresh baked town tasty on an empty stomach.
    Beautiful.
    What an absolute delight.
    Animation's to be treasured.

    (And yes, Miyazaki's Brave, etc, but don't let that deter you— lives up to that comparison, if not exceeds it)

  • Happiest Season

    Happiest Season

    Fish plotline's great.
    Ending isn't.
    Would've been a great horror movie.
    #Justice4Plaza.
    (I actually liked most of this. I laughed a lot. But the arc feels... offkey)

  • Ammonite

    Ammonite

    I want to start this review by saying—
    *waves crashing*
    *waves*
    *more waves*
    —and then the candles—
    *waves*
    *crash crash*
    *water with subwoofer*
    —until Saoirse does—
    *waves CRASH*
    *WAVES*
    *WAVES CRASH*
    —oh would you look at that, they're—
    *WAVES WAVES WAVES*
    *CRASHING*
    —corset—
    *rocks*
    °SHORELINE SOUNDS*
    —and in conclusion, it's kinda lifeless, but the cinematography's nice.

  • Marona's Fantastic Tale

    Marona's Fantastic Tale

    ★★★★

    I lost my boy nearly five years ago, and there isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about all the great memories we had. Even after all this time, he's still my best friend. Can't really write about him. It hurts.

    This film hurts a little too.